6 Reasons The Drug War Has Failed Society

6 logical reasons why the drug war is hurting society:

1.) Drug abuse is a treatable condition which first requires that the sufferer REQUEST help in some way. It is very unlikely for someone to request help for ANY condition if they feel they are at risk for being arrested.

2.) *Legalized*, adult consensual drug use generally harms only the user. And while that may make us feel sad or angry, it ultimately is not our place to be telling a sovereign adult how to behave or live their life. The choice to get better is a personal one and will only be delayed if someone is manipulated into it.

3.) Drug laws DO NOT WORK. They do zip to solve the actual problem, they prop up violent cartels with underground income and have little to no effect on ease of access.

4.) Prohibition actually makes it EASIER for kids to gain access to drugs. Licensed dealers of alcohol and tobacco are required by law to ask for valid ID, or they could be arrested, fined, or even lose their right to their business or job. Street dealers just ask for money, and no matter how many times they are arrested or fined, they can just go right back to business when they are finished dealing with the law. It’s not a cure-all, by any means, but the logic is undeniable.

5.) Making certain drugs legal will cause the rates of abuse for other, more dangerous drugs to drop. For instance, a lot of pain medicine addicts become that way because they have a medical issue and require the medicine for legitimate reasons. But the medicine is highly addictive and once the prescriptions stop, users are likely to seek their fix on the street. Marijuana is an effective treatment for pain, non addictive and totally safe. Many addicts admit had they been allowed to smoke marijuana they would never have started the addictive pain medicine.

6.) Prison overcrowding is, in part, caused by excessive drug penalties. Which does nothing but refine a users pathology, and/or causes more psychological harm, which in turn makes recovery that much more difficult. It has been shown that any changes in behavior brought about by incarceration are often temporary and only last as long as the person interaction with the law, i.e. probation, parole, etc.

Drug addiction is a serious problem, one that is only made worse by our reaction to it. Solving this problem in it’s entirety may never be realistic, but to make the issue worse with outdated and dogmatic policies should be considered criminal. Yet, that is exactly what we have been doing for decades, with no end in sight.
These failed legislative endeavors have done nothing to quell the epidemic of addiction. Every year the problem gets worse and worse, and people are starting to get addicted at a younger and younger age as the time goes by and these oppressive policies play themselves out.
When will the time come that we stop being so afraid of the unknown? When will we all admit that the well-being of society as a whole is more important than our own personal beliefs about drugs or drug users? When will people realize reaction is not a solution, and that progressive behavior today equals real changes tomorrow?

Why not today?

Hindsight.

When I was in school, and we were learning about history I remember always wondering what the future societies would think about my generation. Even today I still find myself wondering if history will forgive us for our errors as easily as we have forgiven ourselves. Hindsight has always had a funny way of showing us exactly what went wrong, and what mistakes could have been, and should have been avoided entirely. It’s a sad scenario to play out, but I do believe there is an alternative.

So many people these days have pawned their minds, voices, and lives for a comfortable and cushioned existence. The price for this apathy, is much greater than most care to understand. How is it that people are still scoffed at for wanting to preserve and protect the very planet we live on? Why are the few that stand up and beckon us to unite in love shot down or persecuted? Why do so many starve when there is enough food and resources to adequately provide for every Human on Earth? These will be just a few of the questions of a very curious, and disgruntled future.

I cannot help but wonder if our temporary comforts are worth it. If the path we tread only seems infinite, and that the end lay not in front but below us as we plummet over the cliff of reason, into the painful sigh of hindsight. We make the choice everyday, it’s up to us.

Reaching Out.

   “Every man feels that His burden is the heaviest…Who feels it, knows it.”                                                          ~Bob Marley

                 Everyone is pointing fingers these days, anyone you ask is liable to have their own very firm opinion about the problems in society and who is causing them, and that isn’t likely to change any time soon. I don’t think that is a problem, I enjoy the diversity, what I see as being an issue is the rigid way we cling to our opinions as if they are the only ones with any legitimacy. So in place of healthy debate and meaningful discussion, we get heated arguments rife with insults and anger. Lot’s and lot’s of division and negativity, but where are the results?  

               Most would agree, we haven’t had much real change in the past few decades. And we’ve repeated many of the same mistakes more than once with remarkable ease. What we need now is not more bickering, full of loaded questions, half truths and straw man arguments; we need more people willing to reach out to ‘the other side’ and say: ‘I respect your right to disagree with me, let’s find some common ground and figure out how to fix this’. This is courage, to be able to put your own pride aside in peaceful cooperation in order to make Our world a better place.  To cling, selfishly, to your own perspective and not consider any alteration to your ideals based upon new information is undeniably unscientific. And it is nothing short of criminal to force another person or group of people into adhering to your version of morality, or other dogmas. The world is not here to be ‘fixed’ by you, it is here to be experienced. Furthermore, I think it is a great hinderance to progress for the greatest thinkers and problem solvers to be so hopelessly divided, blind to anything but their own theories. Each one sure they are the ones with the right idea. 

                  We need only look as far as nature to see that diversity is key to a healthy world. Even in face of great adversity, many of our planets ecosystems thrive because of their complex and diverse biological systems.  It is from this complexity that new adaptations and achievements form. I see Humans as a part of nature, so I see no reason why Society should not mirror the natural world. 

              Reaching out to the ‘opposition’ is about more than getting your point across, it’s about actively trying to understand their point as well. It’s about being a part of positive change, a real solution, instead of mindless arguing and endless debates. I choose today to recognize those who disagree with me, and honor your right to do so. Let’s come together, there has never been a better time to change the path we are on.   

A Social Sickness.

   Things seem to be getting really scary, there is no doubt about that. Every day the news and social media chatter is full of shocking and frankly, depressing stories of murder, violence or suffering. From the confusion and misery caused by mass shootings, too often involving schools or children, to the fear and panic created by bombings and the sensationalist hum perpetuated by our so-called “Free Media”,  I think we can all agree something about our society needs to be reevaluated. 

       But lately i’ve noticed a very interesting, albeit detrimental pattern in our social behavior. We are too focused on reacting, sometimes carelessly, to the problems we face rather than trying to understand and prevent them. We have ourselves convinced that swift and sincere justice must come in the form of punishment and deterrence, a zero tolerance policy when it comes to crime. Meanwhile our social environment continues to pump out violent and mentally ill individuals, who often filter through the system time after time, receiving little to no rehabilitation or help, and costing the taxpayers countless billions, only to end up hurting themselves or others despite all of the time and resources spent on the ‘Justice’ system. What we are left with are prisons full of sick or additced men and women, victim after victim, and streets and alleyways swollen with experienced criminals. All products of a society either too afraid or too lazy to take responsibility for the species we are a part of, and the circumstances we all face. With twenty five percent of the worlds prison population, are we really any safer?

      If we continue down this path, I fear it will cause a witch hunt of the mentally ill, and further exacerbate the problems we face. We have to understand punishing, humiliating, or demonizing an ill person for their behavior is not only blocking the path of recovery, it is also part of the cause of the core issue. Mental illness is degenerative if not treated and when the person suffering is mis-treated the dysfunction is amplified. Also, many disorders are triggered or caused by abuse or inhumane treatment,especially during childhood. Not to mention moral judgements matter little to the sick, who suffer against their will everyday, all while being alienated and ridiculed by mainstream society.

         Gun regulation does little to solve the issue either. Imaginary barriers only matter to those who are cognizant of them and honor them as law, otherwise no law will ever stop a deluded and ill person from picking up a gun or any other weapon and using it to inflict harm on others or themselves. Police, Laws, Legislation, these things are largely reactions to certain problems or issues and do almost nothing at all to change or prevent violence, or the social conditions that promote it.

          Instead of pointing fingers, and spending so much time, energy and resources on band-aid solutions, I think we need to start focusing on reforming the system that perpetuates the problems we are all so afraid of. Anger and punishment is no way to deal with sick people, and basically, thats the root of drug addiction, violence, and other social behavior issues, all symptoms of a greater collective illness. An outdated system that has overextended it’s presence and become cancerous,  threatening everything we love.

        

Unite.

We live in a very divided nation, which has it’s roots in an even more divided world. Anybody you talk to, if they have been paying attention to current events, will tell you things seem to be getting worse and worse. Everyone has their opinions on what is wrong or why, but most everybody seems to agree on two things: SOMETHING is not working and it’s the other sides fault.
In the last two decades I have watched a number of new movements surface and evolve, I have heard every argument for a million causes, and I have taken part in or observed thousands of political debates and discussions that, in all honesty, accomplished very little, if anything at all. I have noticed one undeniable fact that is the biggest obstacle in the way of any type of real change, and that is the complete lack of unity that permeates our culture, and therefore any movement or political system which grows out of it.
We have spent countless hours debating and arguing our beliefs and even more time trying to discredit those with political persuasions we perceive as being in opposition to our own, and what do we have to show for it but more of the same? While the various groups and sub groups argue, bicker, insult and picket one another, the corrupt, defective system (and it’s leaders) continues virtually unchallenged.
What good is a clever theory if it never becomes anything else. An idea can change the world, but not if all anyone ever does is talk about it. Even when you are yelling your ideas at the top of your lungs at someone who just won’t agree, then your idea is loud, not effective.
Republican, Democrat, Christian, Muslim, we all bleed the same blood and breathe the same air. Somehow, I think we can find some common ground long enough to remove the oppressive tyrants, social constructs, economic systems that breed disorder and division and chain us all regardless of race, religion, gender or political affiliation.
I think a united world could propel us into the future I know we all want, and once we have won our freedom, we will have found ourselves more understanding of ‘the other side’. Armed with priceless perspective, we will be better equipped to build a world where everybody’s voice matters, where the problems we were forced to confront never interrupt the potential or progress of the society we send our children into.

Unity will set us all free.

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God…

God. No other word spoken has ever had such a profound effect on the Human species. Whether uttered in terms of anger, or praise there is not a person alive that does not feel something when they say, think or hear that word. All too often we have seen people misuse the Word. We have seen those who would choose to use the thought of the Divine to manipulate and exploit others. The consequence is that the word “God” elicits feelings of dread, doubt, fear or contempt. So many have let their past struggles with religions or dogmas cloud their conception of God. They believe that God must mean the God of their youth, the one in who’s name they were made outcasts, or made to feel dirty or unclean. Deep down they still fear the God that they once knew, they cannot fathom a God that is anything other than the one their parents told them about. And then there are those who see all the sufferings of the world, all the hunger and disease, and think to themselves: “What kind of God, what kind of ‘loving creator’ would let these things happen?”. Or maybe we have lost someone we love, and we have asked: “why would God do this to me, how could he take him/her away from me?”. It is easy to see how so many feel lost or confused, angry or hurt, forgotten and forsaken. But once we begin to realize the true nature of God, whatever name we call Him by, we see that even these painful things have meaning and reason. Think of all your problems, all your suffering, and now think of who you would be without them. All of the lessons you never would have learned, all the people you wouldn’t have met. Once you see pain as what it is, spiritual and mental fertilizer, it starts to seem less and less like pain, and more and more like the blessing that it is. Growth.

God is not the statue on your altar, or the bloody man on your crucifix at mass. He (or She) is the Divine Creative force within all of us. That which binds us all together as Brothers and Sisters, and to the very Universe we live in. The founder of the religion Sikhism, Guru Nanak recognized the unity of all faiths. He worshiped with Hindu’s, and Muslims and saw the truth of both paths. On a trip to Mecca, Nanak, tired and hungry from traveling laid down to rest. He was awoken by a Muslim Imam who was irate. The Imam said: ” How dare you sleep with your feet pointing towards the Kaaba?” (The Kaaba is a holy place in Mecca, often thought of as the residence of Allah Himself.) To which Nanak replied: ” I invite you to point your feet in any direction where God cannot be found.” He understood the connection between Us, our Universe and The Divine. He knew that the separation we feel and perpetuate is only an illusion. He also knew the name of God was not as important as the feeling it gives us. And that to be offended was a human emotion, not something God would bother with.
The way I see it, God is Allah, He is Jesus, Krishna, Jehovah, or whatever name you choose. A name is only a name, it does not define. God wanted all his children, in every country, to come to Him. To know Him. So in different places, in different times, in different ways he manifested Himself to His children in forms they would be able to understand. His love for us can be seen just by recognizing that there is NO place on Earth that humans have lived that some sort of faith or spirituality has not evolved. Every culture has their own conception, but more importantly, every culture HAS a conception. On the surface, these religions seem to be completely different, but in essence they teach the same morals and the same truth. And every religion speaks of God’s unending Love for us.
Humans, unfortunately have perverted the teachings of The Divine for their own selfish gains. Often for money or power, these wrongs have consequences that resonate much further than we can conceive  Tarnishing others perception of Our Father as I have stated above. Although to our Human minds these people seem bad or malevolent, these are the ones who need our prayers the most. Those who wish to hurt others, are not mistakes, only mistaken. To them the world is a scary, dangerous place where one must lie, cheat and steal to survive. What a sad thing is must be to fear life itself. Once we begin to see these people in this manner we cease to be angry with them, the emotion becomes more like pity. We start to feel sorry for them, We begin to want to help them. These people and events also give our lives contrast and allow us to feel gratitude for the blessings we have. But with great blessings come great obligations, we can only stay blessed as long as we pay the love forward and do for others what God has done for us. Even if you don’t think a person deserves your love or compassion, remember that you have God’s love, His grace, and you never had to ask, never had to earn it. It is unconditional  so follow in God’s example. Only through this love, this compassionate action can we watch the world change. And the world WIll change.

Every action, every thought, every word has a resounding effect on the world we live in. Instead of being angry at the one who has wronged us, we should remember God’s love and think to ourselves: “This person is hurting, how can I help them”. In this way we turn every enemy and adversary into family. Every so called “Problem” in our life just becomes another solution. You begin to feel angry less and less, pain starts to be nothing more than a fading memory, and the beauty of the world is revealed. We live in such an amazing Universe, Our very existence is a miracle. Viewing life in this way, How could one be sad or angry?

When you laugh, That is God. When you hold the door for someone you have never met, or smile at a child you pass in the grocery store, THAT is God. When we give what we can, no matter how small or meager, That is God. When a rich man gives 100 dollars, it is good, But the poor man who gives the same amount has God in his heart. And the best part about that is that we are all capable of letting God in. Nobody is excluded, Nobody is denied his Unending Grace. His presence in our lives is undeniable when you open your heart to it. Take one step towards Him, and I promise he will make leaps and bounds to get to you. The darkness is gone, The light invades even the furthest corner of our souls. Illuminating the unknown and showing us life is meant to be beautiful  not scary. That there is enough for everyone, nobody has to worry anymore. How truly blessed we are, to live in the presence of Our Loving God.

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A Not So Distant Future.

                    We Humans enjoy a certain level of comfort as the dominant inhabitants of this planet. Our intelligent minds have brought us remarkable advancements in medical science, The technology to speak to our neighbors all over the world, and a unique view of our existence as conscious beings. There is no doubt that we have evolved into astonishing biological organisms capable of almost limitless progress. But this intelligence comes with a few inherent responsibilities that we have been ignoring for a dangerously long time. The first being Common Sense; This is perhaps the most important. A species that refuses to use it’s logical mind to divert itself from destructive circumstances is doomed for self-inflicted failure. Another responsibility we inherit is the obligation of compassion. We have been given minds that are able to solve some of life’s most puzzling questions, We have challenged our natural limits and mastered the ability to fly higher than the birds, we can look into the vastness of Outer Space and witness the unbelievable beauty of our Universe; This same creativity should always be used to make sure our actions do as little harm as possible. That principle is as essential to our survival as the Oxygen we breathe.

                 Our planet is a very finite resource. We sometimes don’t realize it because of how big it seems to us tiny Humans, but the earth only has so much to offer, and once a resource is gone, for whatever reason, it is effectively gone for good. The Human race has developed a kind of amnesia to this rule, We have turned a blind eye to the obvious truth that we lead an unsustainable existence. I think subconsciously we have convinced ourselves that we have nothing to worry about, as if the problem will just go away.  Nothing could be more deadly than an entire race lying to themselves. It’s time to muster up the maturity we are so proud of, and as a species, face the facts.

                 In April of 2010 the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 people, and causing a massive underwater geyser which for three months pumped over 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf. The full extent of the damage is still unknown. Fossil fuels have been shown to produce toxic gasses that affect the quality of our air, causing cancer, asthma, and other debilitating diseases. And the emissions may also be a contributing factor to  global climate change, an event that could easily wipe entire populations off the face of the planet. It has become very obvious to me that our reliance on petroleum and other fossil fuels is a deadly addiction to the familiar, and nothing more. We have the ability to harvest energy from the sun and wind, We know how to create power with hydro-electric facilities, and have developed ways to produce Geo-thermal and even wave generated electricity. Vehicles that run strictly on Hydrogen have been made, the only emissions produced by these cars is clean, drinkable water. New technologies continue to surface as a result of our astounding ingenuity, I think the time to leave our old habits behind is extremely overdue.

              We owe a great amount of respect to coal and oil, and the rapid progress they allowed us to enjoy as we paved our way into the advancements that have helped us adapt and evolve into a relatively comfortable  existence. But this way of producing fuel and energy should be viewed as a metaphorical raft, that has given us the ability to make it across the river of time safely. But having landed on the other side, all we are doing now is dragging the raft behind us, expending valuable time and energy on a load we need not bear. In essence this addiction is a retardation of our own evolution, placing limits on the Human species that grow tighter by the day. How much more devastation will we need to experience before we accept the fact that we are destroying the only place we have to live, and robbing our children of a chance to lead a happy, meaningful life.

           Another major cause of both pollution and unnecessary suffering are the methods we employ to raise, and slaughter animals for food, clothing, and other reasons. The popular image of a happy cow or pig basking in the sun on a small family farm is a mirage. The reality is the demand for meat, leather and fur has driven the industry to mass produce it’s animals in intensive “factory farms”, often ignoring the basic rights that a conscious being incurs at birth, the right to live a happy, natural existence, with as little suffering as possible. To purposely inflict suffering to another living creature is the lowest form of depravity we can sink to. This is added to the fact that our methods of raising these animals leaves us with millions of tons of waste, which has found it’s way into our food and water supply, and carries deadly diseases like E. Coli and Salmonella. It is estimated that just one modern pig farm produces more waste than a city of 10,000 people, and with approximately 100 million pigs being raised and killed each year in the U.S. alone, we are facing a serious problem. Instead of just asking you to take my word for it, I invite you to investigate the ways the animal industry has chosen to “solve” this destructive problem. I believe you will be appalled at the level of irresponsibility and blatant carelessness we have shown in regards to this situation.

         Our deed’s have been not only destructive, but also cruel. Because we view them as inferior to our own species, animals rarely have very much protection from the horrible cruelty we are capable of. We are shoving, living, thinking, feeling beings into tiny battery cages and pens, forcing them to live in horrible conditions their entire lives, and then shipping them to slaughterhouses to be violently killed. Using inhumane methods simply because they are cheap and easy, completely ignoring the massive suffering we are inflicting on these creatures. If we can make a plane soar through the sky at hundreds of miles an hour, or build a rocket that will take us to the moon, why is it we can’t seem to figure out a way to feed and clothe ourselves and produce safe products that don’t cause unnecessary harm or damage? And the resources we expend feeding these animals could easily solve world hunger if the food and energy were diverted from this wasteful, destructive industry. It is time to reevaluate our priorities and analyze our actions and the consequences.

          And while our creativity has given us amazing technology that has improved the quality of our lives, there is yet another dark side of the path we have chosen to follow. As time goes by, we Humans continue to invent new and ingenious ways to kill each other. More often than not leaving these deadly weapons in the control of greedy, corrupt tyrants who use them at will to manipulate social circumstances in their favor, or to force their beliefs or morals on others in some despicable act of ego-maniacal imagined superiority. If a person expects to enjoy freedom and happiness he must never encroach on another’s right to liberty and peace. This is a basic fundamental of Human existence. We start wars because others don’t agree with us, or have something we perceive as rightfully ours, which naturally provokes the victims to retaliate in kind with as much violence and hate as they can muster. It is a vicious, pointless cycle of intolerance, hate and death that is poisoning our hearts and stealing the lives of innocent people all over the world. Imagine how much better off we would be if we focused more on our own progress, and not on developing weapons of war.

        These are only a few of the serious problems we as a species face because of our actions. The human population has risen to 7 billion people, a staggering number that most economists, and environmental scientists suggest is entirely out of control. Our small, precious planet cannot support our lifestyle of wasteful consumption. And with an ever increasing number of people on the planet our problems are only going to get worse unless we make a change. Yes, it will be a difficult process of trial and error, but the most important thing is to begin. To put one foot in front on another and start the journey to make things right. And once we have overcome this obstacle facing us we will be that much stronger, that much smarter, ready to face the future with experience and, hopefully, Love.

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Revolution of thought.

The Talking Heads are busy these days. In America, Fear is a product and keeping you afraid is big business. Meanwhile, in the real world, Things have begun to reach a catalyst.  Everyone seems to notice somethings wrong, alot of people have pretty strong opinions on the how and why, but we all agree we aren’t going in the right direction. That’s about the only thing we seem to be able to agree on. Politics, these days, is all about distraction and illusion. The distraction is the popularity contest and media circus that is American politics, and the illusion is that you are free. While you are busy arguing over political dogma, The men behind the curtain are hard at work, waging wars and spending your money. Those with power only have as much power as you allow, and the more you allow things to stay as they are, the more harm you do to the world you are borrowing from your children.

Fear, as I said before, is big business. The Sensationalism perpetuated by the media and those who run it is what keeps us addicted to the “protection” and “stability” our Government claims to offer us in return for our obedience. As long as there is someone or something to Fear, our Government can do anything it pleases, under the guise of keeping us all safe. I believe it has even come to the point where our leaders have manufactured things for us to Fear so they can further their agenda. The terrorists are in our television sets, convincing us all that things are too scary for us to face on our own. We are asked to believe that anyone who questions authority is a threat to society, when the exact opposite is true. Those who question authority are an essential part to a free society.

We the people have only one thing to Fear. It is not a man in a cave, thousands of miles away. It is not a plague or impending natural disaster. We shouldn’t even Fear the greedy bankers and politicians who lie, murder and steal everyday. We need only Fear our own apathy towards our increasingly dire situation. Things only continue down this path because WE allow it to happen. We are either too lazy, too distracted, or too afraid to care. This apathy is fatal if left unchecked. I’m afraid that we will all start to raise our heads a little too late, and the fight for freedom will be that much more difficult. How much liberty are you willing to give up to maintain your false sense of security and freedom?

We must learn from the mistakes of our brothers and sisters abroad, those fighting in Syria and the middle east for freedom and opportunity. We cannot wait until our rights have been stripped to speak out, because that is when the shelling will start, and the raids, and the violence. The tighter the grip on our lives gets, the more those who hold on will fight to keep control. A violent revolution is not necessary, we can overcome our adversary simply by deciding not to live in Fear anymore. Peaceful, but firm disobedience is all you need to take back control over your life, and your country. Take back whats yours, and defend your right to freedom. You have to stand up for yourself though, if you don’t   value your life and freedom, don’t expect someone else to. You see what the alternative is, what would you prefer?

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Legalize Intelligence

I’d like to say first off that Drugs, for many people, are a very bad idea. Addiction and the consequences can be pretty serious, even fatal. And, every person experiences a Drug differently, so there is no real way to know exactly how something is going to make you feel or behave. Intoxicants of any kind should only ever be used by responsible, knowledgeable adults who understand the risks and potential for disaster.

Having said that, I’d like to say that I think the fact that Marijuana is still illegal for both sale and consumption in most of the developed world is absolutely ridiculous. Literally, Trillions of dollars have been spent trying to wipe this plant off the face of Creation, Men have spent decades of their precious lives in jails and prisons over it, and still, as of this writing, their have been NO reported deaths due to Marijuana consumption.

The Marijuana plant has been around for as long as we have. And we’ve been using it in one form or another for thousands of years. The plant fiber can make clothing and textiles, as well as paper. And the Hemp plant grows twice as fast as cotton does and countless times faster than tree’s do, and can grow in almost any climate, in almost any soil. The seeds are often used by bodybuilders and health conscious people as a great source of protein, Essential Fatty Acids, and  other nutrients. The oil from the plant is often used in medicine, and could even be used for fuel. Not to mention the flowers, which are the most valued part.

To start off the flowers of the Marijuana plant are still the only medicine that safely reduces ocular pressure in glaucoma patients with virtually NO side effects.  It is a safe, natural, non-addicting pain reliever for those with muscle and joint pain. It is an excellent sleep aid, that doesn’t cause dependency. It is perfect for cancer and HIV/AIDS patients to stimulate appetite, and for those patients who are terminally ill it provides reprieve and comfort as well as being a good pain reliever. New uses for the plant, both utilitarian and medicinal emerge all the time, and for states that have legalized it for medicinal uses it has brought in millions in tax revenue each year.

Marijuana, despite the all out war being waged against it, has remained America’s top cash crop for decades. Only, the harsh and outdated laws have drove the trade underground in most places and led to the creation of a “shadow economy” that is rife with crime and murder. Leaving the vicious Drug Cartels in charge of supply, and further supporting their hold on communities in Mexico and South America. The point that i’m trying to make here, is that our farmers could be growing it, and selling it to dispensaries which would then sell it to those who choose to use it. Growing and dispensing ALONE would both create jobs and stimulate the economy, but a small tax could even be added to further help the struggling communities that could use the boost. Not to mention the billions wasted in law enforcement each year, and the money used to lock people up for non-violent Marijuana related crimes.

The powers that be have created a stigma for Marijuana that seems to be difficult to shake. Everyone just accepts the fact that this virtually harmless plant is illegal because it’s always been that way. Not many actually realize the massive benefit it would have on our quality of life, especially here in America. I honestly just think it’s time to grow up and face the facts around this issue, and change it. We need to demand OUR government change the outdated and detrimental laws banning the consumption, growth, and sale of this plant. It is our obligation to speak up if something is hurting us. The laws of this country do not seem to apply to the super wealthy, or those in charge, so we cannot ever expect them to stand up for us. We must stand up for ourselves.

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Peaceful Questions.

“If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.

If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.

If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.

If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.

If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.”

~Chinese Philospher , Lao-Tse ,6th Century BCE
                                         Something I have been slowly realizing lately, is that the outer world is typically indicative of the inner one. When there is Chaos and Mayhem inside my mind, It is usually present in my life as well. But the most interesting thing, I find, is that I have complete control of how I feel and what I do about it. The problem is almost always within me, a product of my own reactions to life and it’s circumstances. I could choose to allow something to seriously bother me (as I often do), and get angry and scream and in the end nothing will be different and i’ll probably have a bigger problem to deal with. Or I could choose to slow down and meditate on the situation, and try to look at it from a level of compassion that makes it impossible to be angry. Which in the end has always shown to be the best course of action, if any is necessary at all.
                              There are several things about this country that really make me angry. The way we treat other people, ourselves, our Planet, and Animals is disgusting, to say the very least. The corruption and oppression our apathy constantly upholds, all over the world, is astounding. And the widely popular Fear of those who speak up with voices of Love and Change, Who fight for Freedom and Equality, is depressing.  At the end of the day though, I have to figure out a way to live with these realities while at the same time trying to change them. I cannot allow myself to become emotional, angry or hateful, or else i’m being counterproductive. It’s only when I approach the problem with firm understanding and endless compassion do I even begin to be able to experience it fully. And then decide the best way to move forward.
                            What would I gain if I ran around pointing fingers and making accusations and ruining reputations? I’d be playing “their” game and the thing about that game is it is set up for you to lose. I’d rather play by my own rules and work toward change rather than arguing about it. I feel I can accomplish more from a platform of tolerance and Love, when I look at those I am disagreeing with in terms of how we are alike rather than separate.
                          We have a world full of people with alot of answers, but rarely the right questions. Am I Free? Truly. Inside and out? Or have the people I have so freely handed the authority used it to slowly pull the wool over my eyes and turn me into a shiny cog in the machine of consumerism. We may no longer protest in the street and speak up for our liberty without being labeled as “Terrorists”. New laws get passed each year that take away just a little more of your Freedom. Because, in essence, each law is just another stipulation of your Freedom. Just another thing you cannot do.
                       The problem with authority is it’s not discriminate. Anyone can invoke it, Psychopaths, Sociopaths, Fascists, etc etc. When you open the door, there’s no telling who will walk through. Which has historically led to leaders like Nero, Hitler, Stalin, Mubarak, Assad, and The American Government for the past 150 years. We must take back control over our own lives. We must be able to decide for ourselves the best course of action in our own existence.
                        After all, WE are the ones who pave the streets, WE grow the food, We heal the sick and WE drive the buses. WE clean their houses, teach their children and cook their food, we even drive them around in their expensive cars. WE ought to be able to have a say in how our World is run. Our leaders should be trusted servants, they should not govern. Their jobs should be to protect, serve and care for those they represent, not to impose limitations to another persons liberty. Only a persons Creator can be his master, all others are his equal.
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